Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Wednesday Wisdom: Unexpected Benefits


I always try to take the unexpected things and make them work for me.  Paul Watson


It was with a certain amount of trepidation that I agreed to an early-morning appointment last week to sign a client's will and powers of attorney. She wanted to get this done before her surgery Thursday and no other time would work for our respective schedules.

The problem was my commute. My route to work each morning takes me past six different schools - two elementary schools, two middle schools, one high school, and a community college. Between school-zone speed limits, crossing guards, school buses, and swarms of automobiles, each school creates a tremendous traffic jam for about 30 minutes around their starting times.

The challenge is that there is no alternative route and each school starts at a different time. By trial and error, I've identified the optimal time to leave my house. I've learned that leaving too early or too late invariably ensnares me in the congestion at one school or another and makes my commute much longer.

I knew that getting out of my normal commuting pattern to meet an early appointment would mean getting stuck in traffic as I approached the various schools. But because of her serious anxiety about getting the documents signed before the surgery, I bit the bullet and said yes.

I left super early that morning in anticipation of traffic jams, telling myself to stay patient behind those lines of school buses. So you can imagine my delight when I realized that last week was SPRING BREAK in our area! It was smooth sailing all the way to work. What a sweet and unexpected surprise to encounter no crossing guards, no school buses, no swarms of minivans filled with children trying to get to school and parents anxious to drop off their precious cargo and get to work.

I actually arrived 20 minutes early and was able to spend a little extra time with my client reassuring her about the planning I'd done for her and her upcoming medical procedures. It was time well spent for both of us; a bright spot in my day and hers too.

There's an old saying that "no good deed goes unpunished," but I believe the opposite to be true: no good deed goes unrewarded. As we strive to attend to the needs of others, our own concerns are kindly addressed. It doesn't necessarily happen immediately or every time, but whether in this life or the next, the books are ultimately balanced and the tables are graciously leveled. Often, they're even tilted in our favor. They definitely were for me last week. 

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